‘Happy as Lazzaro’ Isn’t Just One of Netflix’s Best Movies—It’s One of 2018’s Best

Dec 18, 2018 250

BY: Adam Nayman

There hasn’t been a more decent and selfless movie hero this year than the title character of Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro, a sublime new Italian movie released directly to Netflix last month. As with Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggsthe film’s broadly mainstream digital platform is at once at odds with, and hopefully supportive and nurturing of, its utterly distinctive and original artistic vision. ’Tis the season for ranking things, and although it’s arriving late, Happy as Lazzaro is absolutely one of the year’s major new works—don’t make a list without it.

As played by the young, sweet-faced Italian actor Adriano Tardiolo, the slightly cherubic Lazzaro is a figure of pure grace, and a seemingly ideal protagonist for a beautifully crafted and surpassingly lyrical movie with the tone and texture of a folktale. But Happy as Lazzaro is not as innocuous as its namesake. Rohrwacher, who copped a prize at Cannes for the film’s deceptively spare screenplay, is a filmmaker of real imagination, meaning that while she understands the power of fairy tales, she doesn’t fully believe in them. 

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SOURCE: https://www.theringer.com

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